Entries increase for The President of The UAE Cup on St Leger Day

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO) was thrilled to announce today that the entries for the 2017 President of the UAE Cup (UK Arabian Derby) have more than doubled on last years’ figures. With 26 possible runners for the final Group 1 of the UK Arabian racing season, they include three existing Group 1 winners, headed by Nafees, winner of the French equivalent at Chantilly in June. The President of the UAE Cup is the oldest Purebred Arabian race series and it is fitting that it is to be run on the same card as the UK’s oldest thoroughbred classic, the St.Leger, on Saturday 16 September at Doncaster.

Run over a mile and a quarter, The President of the UAE Cup resumed its’ association with the UK Arabian Derby last year and is exclusively for four-year-old Purebred Arabians. Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, it boasts a prize fund of £80,000, with £40,000 to the winner.AK0_9507

ARO Racing Operations Executive, Gemma Cobb was delighted with the numbers saying: “The number of entries received is a great step forward for UK Arabian racing. With 18 international entries, together with eight domestic entries, it is a huge increase on the 11 received last year. It just shows what a welcome addition to the European Pattern this race is, as it is the last race confined to both sexes of the classic generation of 2017.

“The prize money boost for this race which was implemented last year, has encouraged a strong potential line up of Group winners and Group placed horses. It is also encouraging to note that the first three home in last years’ contest have all won Group 1 races this season, further enhancing the races’ Group 1 status.”

ARO Director, Genny Haynes was also pleased commenting. “We were excited to welcome back the President of the UAE Cup last year and are extremely grateful to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their generous support of our feature race for four-year-olds. Moving the race from Ladies Day to St Leger Day itself this year, further enhances the prestige of the race and the status of Arabian racing in the UK, with it being run as part of Doncaster’s most prestigious meeting of the year.”

1 July Race Evening – Statement

The team at Doncaster Racecourse are sorry and disappointed that Rudimental could not perform after racing on 1st July 2017. Piers Agget was taken ill and, despite his wish to perform, the Doncaster team was informed that this would not possible.  With under one hour’s notice the team worked behind the scene with our music providers to find an alternative and deliver a DJ set. We were grateful that in particular Tom Zanetti changed his plans at short notice and we were able to deliver a DJ set which concluded at 11pm. I hope you will understand we did everything in our power to rectify the situation and ensure that the event continued.

We are asking all 1st July customers to contact us via email in the first instance with any queries directed to info@doncaster-racecourse.co.uk. As you will appreciate, we have received a large number of emails since the event and we would appreciate your patience as we work through the emails received.

Tim Banfield

Executive Director, Doncaster Racecourse


William Hill agree three-year deal with ARC to sponsor the St Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse including the world’s oldest Classic horserace.

William Hill Leger

Today, Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) announces that William Hill is the new sponsor of the St Leger Stakes, the world’s oldest Classic horserace.

The three-year deal sees William Hill sponsor the Group 1 St Leger Stakes, worth £700,000 this year, along with a feature race each day of the four-day festival which will be known as ‘The William Hill St Leger Festival’ and run from Wednesday 13 September to Saturday 16 September 2017.

Alongside the feature race, William Hill will sponsor the following races;

  • The William Hill Handicap on the opening day of the Festival (Wednesday);
  • The William Hill May Hill Stakes on Ladies’ Day (Thursday);
  • The William Hill Mallard Stakes on Gentlemen’s Day (Friday); and
  • The William Hill Portland Stakes on the finale, alongside the William Hill St Leger Stakes on the final day (Saturday).

In 2016, the St Leger Festival was attended by over 60,000 racegoers. In 2017, terrestrial coverage of the William Hill St Leger Stakes day will be on the ITV 1 channel with coverage on ITV4 for Ladies’ Day and Gentlemen’s Day.

New St Leger Festival sponsor, William Hill was the first betting company to sponsor a major horserace in 1957.  Today, William Hill is sponsor of the Ayr Gold Cup, Great St. Wilfrid at Ripon, Scottish Super Sprint at Musselburgh and is also the broadcast sponsor for all of ITV’s horseracing coverage.

William Hill CEO, Philip Bowcock, said: “William Hill is one of the best known brands in betting – with a long history of horseracing sponsorship.  We are delighted to sponsor the oldest classic and we will work closely with ARC to continue to build the profile and popularity of the William Hill St Leger Festival.”

Chief Executive of ARC, Martin Cruddace, said: “We are delighted William Hill have become the new sponsors of the St Leger. We really enjoy working with their team and look forward to extending this to our feature racing festival of the year. William Hill have the brand, vision and team to help build on the success of both the four-day festival and the feature race, the St Leger, which continues to be one of the most important races in the British Racing calendar.”

Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse, Tim Banfield, said “The William Hill St Leger Festival is a wonderful four days of racing for Doncaster, the Yorkshire region and the whole of British Racing.  We aim to have a real and long-term partnership with all our sponsors and we look forward to integrating William Hill’s world-renowned brand into our feature event.  The team here are working hard on preparations for this year’s William Hill St Leger Festival and we are set on delivering another fantastic four days of racing.”

Tickets for the St. Leger Festival are now on sale and can be purchased online at


Racing Welfare Charity Raceday


Sponsored by Betfair and featuring the Betfair Clock Tower Cup for stable staff on  Friday 7th July 2017.

The Betfair Clock Tower Cup charity race for stable staff and the charity lunch at Doncaster are now in their third year and the day is the pinnacle of Racing Welfare’s initiative Racing Staff Week.


Racing Staff Week showcases the vital role that stable and stud staff, and indeed all the people who work behind the scenes, play in the production of British horseracing.  It also promotes the work that the Racing Welfare charity do to support racing’s workforce.

Trainers have nominated valued members of staff to realise their ambition of riding in the race and the atmosphere will be electric as colleagues, family and friends – along with jockeys who they will have ridden work with on the gallops, come along to cheer them on.

Please join their supporters and other racing industry enthusiasts at the charity lunch which has been organised to raise funds for Racing Welfare.  Tickets include a Champagne reception, three course lunch and wine as well as an auction and celebrity tipster and are £130 each or £1300 for a table of 10.  To book tickets or a table please contact Mary-Ann Sandercock, msandercock@racingwelfare.co.uk or call 07790 844887 for more details.

Opening Hours Across the Festive Break

Executive Director Tim Banfield and the team at Doncaster Racecourse would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Date Office Opening Hours Events The Old Weighing Room Restaurant & Bar
Monday 19th Dec 9am until 5pm    
Tuesday 20th Dec 9am until 5pm    
Wednesday 21st Dec 9am until 5pm    
Thursday 22nd Dec 9am until 5pm   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Friday 23rd Dec 9am – 1pm   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Saturday 24th Dec Closed   Festive Menu

6pm until late

Sunday 25th Dec Closed    
Monday 26th Dec Closed    
Tuesday 27th Dec 9am – 5pm Giant Antique & Collectors Fair

9.30am – 4.30pm

Wednesday 28th Dec 9am – 5pm Giant Antique & Collectors Fair

9.30am – 4.30pm

Thursday 29th Dec 8am – 5pm Twixmas Winter Jump Raceday

Gates 10.30am, first race 12.25pm

Friday 30th Dec Closed BP Toy Collectors Fair 10.30am – 3.30pm  
Saturday 31st Dec Closed New Year’s Eve event from 7pm


New Year’s Eve event from 7pm
Sunday 1st Jan Closed    
Monday 2nd Jan Closed    
Tuesday 3rd Jan 8am – 6pm    




Construction to commence on hotel at Doncaster Racecourse

Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted to confirm that it has received planning approval for the construction of a new Hilton Garden Inn on the west side of Doncaster Racecourse.  Construction will commence at the start of 2017 and the hotel will open in the summer of 2018.

Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse will provide much needed quality accommodation in Doncaster with 154 guestrooms over six floors.  Alongside high-quality lodgings, the hotel will be home to a flexible event space located on the first floor which will boast extensive views over the racecourse and can be used for corporate and leisure race-day hospitality, providing guests with an ideal setting to view the sporting action and enjoy excellent hospitality.  The hotel will feature associated parking and landscaping which will enhance the image of the racecourse and provide a beautiful surround to the hotel.

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Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse, Tim Banfield, said: “Doncaster Racecourse is steeped in heritage and plays an important role in the local community. We are delighted to be working with Doncaster Council and Hilton on this exciting project which marks a new era for the racecourse. The development of a new Hilton Garden Inn will provide the town with a much needed quality hotel for guests, as well as extra capacity for racegoers on racedays.”

The UK is already home to 138 Hilton hotels across eight brands and Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse will mark the brand’s debut in the town.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, Hilton said: “Hilton has a strong legacy of sporting venue developments, with more than 10,000 rooms either trading or under construction across four continents.  With more than 280,000 people visiting Doncaster Racecourse in 2015, this hotel will provide prime mid-scale accommodation to domestic and international travellers alike.”

John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn, said: “Hilton Garden Inn is now trading or under development in more than 120 locations across Europe, Middle East and Africa. The brand’s continued growth has included new markets this year such as Tanger City Centre in Morocco, and Dublin, Ireland, as well as further expansion in established markets including Austria and Belgium. The wonderful new Hilton Garden Inn in Doncaster will add another great stadium property to our portfolio in the UK following the opening of The Hilton Garden Inn Sunderland in the Stadium of Light in April, 2016.”

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “This prestigious development which brings Hilton’s world famous hospitality to our internationally acclaimed racecourse is a real feather in Doncaster’s cap.  The scheme will complement the new homes going up at Belle Vue and plans for the former Doncaster Bloodstock Sales and is more evidence of Doncaster delivering on the jobs and growth front.”

Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse will be located at The Grandstand, Leger Way, Doncaster.  Read more about Hilton Garden Inn at www.hgimediacenter.com.

Tim Banfield Appointed Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse


Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted to announce Tim Banfield has been appointed Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse.

Tim takes over from Kieran Gallagher who becomes ARC’s Catering and Events Director.  Kieran will oversee the food and beverages served to customers across ARC racecourses, as well as supporting the development of major events across the Group.

Tim joins ARC from the ACC Liverpool Group where he was Commercial Director for the last five years having joined the company as General Manager to open the Echo Arena in 2008.  Before that Tim has worked at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the NEC Birmingham.

Tim said: “I am really pleased to join ARC and lead the team at Doncaster Racecourse. As a sports fan it is exciting to be working in horseracing which is a great sport and a fantastic day out. Doncaster Racecourse has a wonderful history and heritage and I am really looking forward to continuing to grow and develop the business in the years ahead.”

ARC Director of Operations Mark Spincer said: “We are delighted to welcome Tim to the team. With his years of experience I think he has the skills and qualities to lead the team at Doncaster, one of our flagship racecourses.  It’s also great news that Kieran Gallagher will remain a central part of the operations team and utilise his skills in overseeing our catering offering to customers across our racecourses.”